Technology at health and education’s service
“We run because kids are made to move!”
Marathon Kids is a joint solution to improve the quality of life of future generations. It gives each member of a community the chance to encourage children’s participation in sport spaces, and it also allows users to measure every step and goal achieved.
Not only it promotes sport as a recreational and beneficial for health activity, in a completely free way, but it also increases the bonds between its different members. It puts the most advanced technology on behalf of children’s well-being.
We created a light and fast platform according to the spirit of the project, and took care of every detail in order to assure that the UX was magnificent in every way, getting a solid platform that contemplates the variety of people who use Marathon Kids.
Marathon Kids’ goal is to encourage kids, teachers, and families, to get motivated. It also leads them on the path to a healthier lifestyle. They take into account that an inactive childhood, with factors like lack of exercise or bad nutrition, could lead to an inactive adulthood.
“That’s why we’re committed to getting kids moving today: so they will be active for life.”
The idea came up in 1995. Kay Morris read multiple reports about the rise of childhood obesity, and its correlation with lack of exercising in lower age ranges. That opened the question on how to share her own love for movement and sports to younger generations.
She got in touch with the ISD of Austin, Texas, and got in a strategic alliance with Paul Carrozza. They expected around 200 middle school kids on Marathon Kids’ first year, but over 1.600 got on board with the project.
Today, over 25 years later, over two million and a half kids have been part of the platform; and it also counts with Nike’s sponsorship. They aspire to keep working as long as there is a single person trying to overcome their obstacles in terms of movements or health.
The main challenge was to expand the idea of a healthier lifestyle to different communities. This project had to consider factors such as measure of progress or goals, who gets involved, and which precautions should be taken to guarantee childrens’ safety.
In order to achieve this, the team developed a solid structure that allowed the project to reach its best, and a solid base that enabled data storage, strong metrics and eased every member’s commitment.
That’s where the team got fully involved to create the support this project deserved. We took care of each of the types of participants of this platform, paying special attention to Marathon Kids’ core values, such as movement, fun and freedom.
Marathon Kids has a unique ID and QR code for each vhild. This QR code gets scanned both at the beginning and at the end of every workout, to track advances and goals. The platform also counts daily activities: for example, the system equates 20 minutes of moderate activity with a mile.
Teachers get a specific type of user on the app. Not only it has to be approved by the school or establishment but also by each child’s parents. In school-related activities, they’re in charge of setting times or distances to achieve goals, and they can also equate different daily activities to miles to add them up in students’ total advances.
The platform also has a special section created for parents. This was meant to encourage them to get involved in their childrens’ activities and also to make actions altogether. Besides providing the possibility of exercising together, it has sections that allows parents to start conversations and deepen their family bonds.
It also includes spaces to foment participation from organizations that also lookup to well-being and improvement of quality of life. Any communitarian organization can be added for free: camps, church, OTS programs, etc.
In summary, this project not only encourages kids’ improvement of quality of life. It creates deeper relationships between children, and with their parents and teachers, and also opens a dialogue between the adults focused on the child’s well-being. All of this for free for all users, and with support of specialized institutions from every district.
We created a responsive platform that combines the latest tools and frameworks in an UX focused in childrens’ health. As a result of the hard joint work between Capicua and Marathon Kids, the platform won the Best Emerging Technology Solution in the 2021 edition of The EdTech Awards.
The team also used PostgreSQL’s Database (RDS AWS) with 3 DB instances: Dev (T2 small), Stage (T2 large), Prod (T3 2X large), along Headless WordPress CMS, Salesforce CRM, and Docker’s containerization.
Our main challenge was to help an ONG to walk forward on an advanced-garde digital transformation. Now, it’s a responsive platform that combines multiple technologies in an effective, attractive, and 100% user-experience focused way. Its made to guarantee an excellent service on each person’s daily road to a healthier life.
We completely renew the image of Marathon Kids, and endowed it with core values such as vitality and dynamism. Our team created a UX focused graphic line, with a defined colour palette and sections specially created so that each member could find exactly the info they need. Through selected photography, we reaffirm values such as fun and belonging sentiment, putting special focus to cultural diversity, a main point for the company from the beginning.
The team highlighted vital information on the homepage, like the variety of different roles and how they can get involved. This gets mixed with testimonies from participants and former participants, and the newest strategic alliances, such as the one made with the giant Nike.
In the different pages, we reflect in a clear way the mechanics of the program, with the system and criteria used to track progress both on a daily basis and in goals’ achievement. Pages such as Mission or FAQs, or the news and blog area, were also made with special detail, to maintain its community united and updated.
Their experience helped us define how we need to move forward as an organization. – Derek G. | Marathon Kids Tech Chief
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